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Business rate reform called for as industry reacts to landslide Labour election win

9 Jul 2024

Following Labour’s general election win, the retail industry has stressed the need for a business rates overhaul to protect high streets across the country.
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Bira calls on new Labour government to prioritise independent retail sector

9 Jul 2024

Following Labour’s landslide Election victory, Bira, the British Independent Retailers Association, has urged the new government to make good on its promise of change by prioritising the... Read more…

Much loved toyshop saved by owner's daughter

9 Jul 2024

A much-loved toy shop in Aberystwyth that was facing closure has been saved after the former shopkeeper's daughter decided to take over the reins.
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Inverness-based retailer wins coveted Drapers Award for Best Independent Footwear Retailer

9 Jul 2024

A family-owner retailer in Inverness, Begg Shoes, has been named Best Independent Footwear Retailer at the 2024 Drapers Footwear Awards, held annually to celebrate the outstanding achievements... Read more…

'Pay-as-you-feel' barber wins hairdressing award

9 Jul 2024

A man who offers "pay-as-you-feel" haircuts has been named the UK's best barber.
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The Times publishes its list of the seven best shopping streets in the UK

24 Jun 2024

The Times has just published its list of the seven best shopping streets in the UK.
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Indie retail village wins Hospitality Hero Velvet Award for 2024

24 Jun 2024

An independent retail village in Ely that celebrates its one-year anniversary this month has won the Hospitality Hero Velvet Award for 2024.
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Bike shop owner slams police’s “abject apathy” after three shops broken into in one night

24 Jun 2024

A cycle shop owner has criticised the police’s “abject apathy” towards bike theft after thieves attempted to break into his store for the second time in a year, on the same... Read more…

A simple comparison of the General Election manifestos

24 Jun 2024

With less than three weeks to go until the General Election, Bira has produced a simple table comparing manifestos for Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Reform UK, and... Read more…

Independents Day message - supporting independent shops boosts local jobs and economies.

24 Jun 2024

With the annual Independents’ Day weekend coming up on July 6th and 7th, independent retailers have been reinforcing the message that supporting independent shops boosts... Read more…

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Mixed picture emerging about Coronation effect on retail

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News, Creative News, Outdoor News

coronationA mixed picture is emerging about the effect of the Coronation weekend across the UK's retail sector.

Figures from MRI Springboard suggested footfall at shops throughout the UK on Saturday was 13.2% lower than on the same day last year.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at MRI Springboard, said the Coronation "somewhat inevitably drew consumers away from stores and destinations as many were watching the proceedings".

However, footfall improved on Sunday - helped by better weather - rising 7.3% on the same time last year, although it was down slightly on the previous bank holiday weekend.

The overall impact of the extra bank holiday on the economy is hard to gauge, as while some businesses benefited, others would have been closed.

Last year, the Office for National Statistics said some firms had seen revenues fall in June after the bank holiday weekend for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.

A similarly mixed picture has emerged about the hospitality industry.

Speaking to the BBC, The City Pub Group said that after an "anaemic" Saturday, sales on Sunday had been "really, really strong".

Extended pub opening hours had been expected to provide a £104m boost to the sector, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Trade group UK Hospitality said it was a weekend of two halves.

The City Pub Group owns 43 pubs across the south of England and south Wales. "Saturday was a washout - the weather was awful and that was reflected in very anaemic sales," said Clive Watson, the group's executive chairman.

"But Sunday was really, really strong," he added. "Despite street parties we were 82% up on this time last year. It's a bit of a relief."

He also said that the first bank holiday in May had been the chain's "best weekend we'd ever had" with an £800,000 turnover.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, about £200m was expected to be spent on food and drink alone over the Coronation weekend, with consumers adding more than £1.4bn in total to the UK economy.

Pubs opening hours had been extended over the coronation weekend.

The chief executive of trade group UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, said visitors were focused on London and the Coronation itself for the first half of the weekend, whereas the second half was about communities and a "more normal bank holiday".

"We've seen higher levels of footfall than we would normally expect at this time of year as a result of the Coronation activities going on. In total it could be worth an additional £350m worth of sales," she said.

Businesses in London fared best, she said, with hotel occupancy in the centre of the capital running at 95% on the Friday and Saturday nights. The economic impact of bank holidays was significant, but it was also regional and weather-dependent, Ms Nicholls said.

However, having three bank holidays in May was testing for most household finances, especially during the current cost of living crisis, she added.

"There is a finite amount of spending money that people have so while you'll get an uplift on one or maybe two of them, it's unlikely you'll get it sustained across the whole of the month."

Ms Nicholls also said with the addition of the final of Eurovision on 13 May and the FA Cup final on 3 June, the four weeks was due to be an expensive one for the British public.

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